Trade shows are a great place for brands to show off new products as well as things they have been working on, making them a great place to get a hands-on look at what's coming up, as well as seeing some properly weird and wonderful stuff.
London Cycle Show is in full swing and one of the bikes that caught our eye was this melty terminator-esque 3D-printed bike from Canyon. Built in collaboration with BIKE Magazine (opens in new tab) and Cradle to Cradle NGO, the brief for the "bike PROJECT: ride green" frame was to design a bike that's as sustainable as possible.
Canyon didn't just look at how materials used affect the environmental impact of bike frame manufacture. It also looked further with the goal of reducing waste. This led to choosing 3D-printed aluminum to produce the frame. The frame was 'built' by Materialize, a company from Bremen, who used a technique called selective laser melting method. This involves using a laser to accurately melt the aluminum powder into solid metal and form the futuristic shapes you see here.
Johannes Thum was the Canyon engineer who worked on the project: "The top priority was the recyclability and environmental compatibility of the materials and the principle of material recycling without loss of quality. But we went even further. In addition to the recyclability of the materials, we also wanted to reduce the amount of pure material and thus lower the frame weight. That would then be a win-win situation and the customer would not only get a more sustainable product, but also a better one. In addition, we also looked for a new possibility for design and unexpectedly found many. Because a sustainable, good product is of course much better accepted if it also looks great!"
With many brands looking at innovative ways to manufacture products in order to deliver better bikes that are more environmentally conscious, this bike seems right on the pulse of where brands are going. We have already seen the likes of more sustainable carbon from Guerrilla Gravity, carbon recycling from Silca, and bikes with 3D-printed features from Atherton Bikes.
Where Canyon goes from here is hard to say. It will be a while before we are likely to see anything like this hit the market, as manufacturing is pretty time-consuming. The design is produced in three parts with each piece taking around six hours to complete. The quoted weight is 2kg, however as 3D-printing continues to improve, so does the intricacy of the structures, and it's expected that 3D-printed alloy frames could drop to as low as 1kg.